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http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/03/29/chris-avellone-interview-torment-project-eternity-and-beyond/

 

Mostly stuff we already knew but I did find Avellone's personal takes and insights interesting. Some snippets:

Well, my favorite race is the Orlans. They’re feline-based, and I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare. Partially because I’m a cat person, and I really like the idea that they’re sort of the stealthy, guerrilla class. That kind of appeals to me. And you know, the trap-making. They’re very anti-slaver, because the slavers love to pick on them. So that’s caused some interesting paranoia and hostility in their culture.

 

As far as dwarves and elves… I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing- those have interesting spins on them, in terms of… Josh is a very focused history and religion major. So, when he develops cultures, he thinks very much about the deity breakdowns, the actual climate and environment of the area where they grew up.

 

The Aumaua, they have a very interesting Polynesian take on their culture which I haven’t seen before in other games. They’re not really the equivalent of half-orcs. They’re actually just a brand new, sort of swarthier species. And they’re sort of like our [natural] tanks in the game.

The storyline/theme potentials here excite me. People always gush about how great Planescape: Torment was from a story-perspective. But One of the reasons why Torment's story is so memerable was because much of it spawned from the setting itself. It had a bizzare game world that facilitated a good story. It Allowed for a rich narrative to grow out of it (ie. Traveling the planes; having companions and NPCs from truly different realities)

 

My gut is telling me that we might have something similar being built here, albeit a little more grounded in "history". And if that's the case, Avellone's and Zeits' story-writing could come out in awe-inspiring fashion. </optimist>

Edited by Stun
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Well, my favorite race is the Orlans. They’re feline-based, and I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare. Partially because I’m a cat person, and I really like the idea that they’re sort of the stealthy, guerrilla class. That kind of appeals to me. And you know, the trap-making.

 

Well, that kind of settles what race my first character will be  :cat:

 

 

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Also, this picture is the definition of awesome. Things you can turn up with a quick googling...

 

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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reminded of this:

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Well, my favorite race is the Orlans. They’re feline-based, and I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare. Partially because I’m a cat person, and I really like the idea that they’re sort of the stealthy, guerrilla class. That kind of appeals to me. And you know, the trap-making.

 

Well, that kind of settles what race my first character will be  :cat:

 

 

00290065-0000-0000-0000-000000000000_913

 

Also, this picture is the definition of awesome. Things you can turn up with a quick googling...

 

that...is...#%#$%@#$% AWESOME! that just made my day. haha

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Suprised this doesn't have a few more posts.

 

Anyways

 

The Aumaua, they have a very interesting Polynesian take on their culture which I haven’t seen before in other games. They’re not really the equivalent of half-orcs. They’re actually just a brand new, sort of swarthier species.

 

Called it.

Edited by Barothmuk
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This interview was very interesting to read. A few passages that stood out to me were...

 

Because everyone who supported our project understands what [we're going for], and they actually love to play that type of game. If the project appeals to more people beyond the backers, that’s great. But we’re not counting on it. We certainly hope it does, but ultimately, we’re making a project for the audience that supported us, and we just want them to be happy.

 

This makes me very happy. I guess in a time when most gaming companies are watering down their RPG's to appeal to mass audiences (especially games that were already critically and financially successful: Dragon Age), it makes me so happy to see game designers that want to make a specific game for a specific target audience (old school fantasy RPG fans =).

 

[swords, dwarves and elves are] not much of a sell. The differences are the following: First off, when Josh was setting up the vision goals for the feel of the world, the technology level is a little bit more advanced than the sort of traditional fantasy tech levels that we’ve seen in other games. And that definitely sets it apart from the Forgotten Realms. The world is sort of on the cusp of a technological revolution, and as a result, people are finding new ways to wage war, to defend against magecraft. And even wizards find they’re suddenly not in a completely secure location from the common populous, because these new weapons are becoming available."

 

This sounds very promising. Medieval fantasy settings have been pretty common since Tolkien. While I enjoy them immensely, sometimes a little variety is nice too. However, many other writers' and game designers' attempts to add variety have come off as a little... gimmicky. I like how there are logical reasons within this world for changes in the standard Medieval European fantasy mold.

 

Also, what we tried to do, even though there are recognizable tropes like elves and dwarves, we’ve tried to introduce some new elements into their cultures and make them stand out. “Elves and dwarves” are just nouns that we use to lure you in. But then, once you’re in there, you suddenly realize that there are a lot of differences between this, and what you’d consider typical fantasy fare."

 

This sounds very promising. ^^

 

As far as dwarves and elves… I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing- those have interesting spins on them, in terms of… Josh is a very focused history and religion major. So, when he develops cultures, he thinks very much about the deity breakdowns, the actual climate and environment of the area where they grew up.

 

I'll admit this actually disappoints me. Most fantasy settings focus more on humans than any other race already. I can play just about any game if all I cared about was stories involving human characters, kingdoms and cultures, with little fantasy races sprinkled around like garnish. What's the point of pouring so much creativity into fantasy races like elves and dwarves if we aren't going to actually see them, or we only see them in relation to how they interact with humans?

 

 

Otherwise, there is a lot about this interview that I enjoy immensely. I am still looking forward to this game very strongly.

"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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As far as dwarves and elves… I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing- those have interesting spins on them, in terms of… Josh is a very focused history and religion major. So, when he develops cultures, he thinks very much about the deity breakdowns, the actual climate and environment of the area where they grew up.

 

I'll admit this actually disappoints me. Most fantasy settings focus more on humans than any other race already. I can play just about any game if all I cared about was stories involving human characters, kingdoms and cultures, with little fantasy races sprinkled around like garnish. What's the point of pouring so much creativity into fantasy races like elves and dwarves if we aren't going to actually see them, or we only see them in relation to how they interact with humans?

 

I believe what was meant there was that, usually, the attitude seems to be "Well, Humans are just humans, so we can't really make them THAT cool or interesting, so let's just focus on Dwarves and Elves and 'exotic' races, since they're inherently so much cooler than humans!", and they want to make sure that Humans are actually made as interesting as they can be in this world full of non-human things from not-reality.

 

Also, they may or may not have been touching on the meaning of "human interaction" as "that level of complex, real-world interaction that we, as humans, see in reality." Maybe they're trying to make sure all the races are as "human" and culturally interesting and diverse as actual humanity is, alongside their majestical fantasyness, rather than saying "Well, they don't really act much like an actual culture that we can in any way relate to, but at least they're really cool and have awesome magic and technology and architecture, ^_^"

 

But, I'm pretty sure about the first part. Also, he said "I've been focused mainly...", so he could've just meant that he, personally, can't really provide the interviewer with too much detailed info on the other races, since he and/or the team has been mainly hashing out the humans thus far. *shrug*

 

I just wouldn't get too bummed about those couple of lines, if I were you, until we know more specifics. 8P

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I believe what was meant there was that, usually, the attitude seems to be "Well, Humans are just humans, so we can't really make them THAT cool or interesting, so let's just focus on Dwarves and Elves and 'exotic' races, since they're inherently so much cooler than humans!", and they want to make sure that Humans are actually made as interesting as they can be in this world full of non-human things from not-reality.

 

I haven't video game that does this. Most of them focus on human kingdoms, cultures and conflicts first and foremost. Other races are only presented in how they relate to humans. Either in how they coexist, like those were raised in human societies or live within human walls. Or in how they provide conflict, like those that attack human settlements (like the reptilian cult of NWN1, the kobolds of NWN: SotU, the drow of NWN: HotU, the githyanki of NWN2, the darkspawn of DA:O, etc). 

 

 

 

Also, they may or may not have been touching on the meaning of "human interaction" as "that level of complex, real-world interaction that we, as humans, see in reality." Maybe they're trying to make sure all the races are as "human" and culturally interesting and diverse as actual humanity is, alongside their majestical fantasyness, rather than saying "Well, they don't really act much like an actual culture that we can in any way relate to, but at least they're really cool and have awesome magic and technology and architecture, ^_^"

 

I think his comment of "I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing -" took a little wind out of that sail.

 


 

But, I'm pretty sure about the first part. Also, he said "I've been focused mainly...", so he could've just meant that he, personally, can't really provide the interviewer with too much detailed info on the other races, since he and/or the team has been mainly hashing out the humans thus far. *shrug*

 

Again: "I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing -"

 

 

I just wouldn't get too bummed about those couple of lines, if I were you, until we know more specifics. 8P

 

Wait to be bummed until my fears are confirmed; got it. =)

"Not I, though. Not I," said the hanging dwarf.

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To be honest, as much as I like Chris and PE, the Orlans sound pretty much exactly like The Elder Scrolls' Khajiit. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, but to say "I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare" isn't exactly true. The whole "cat people" thing isn't a particularly new concept.

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quest for glory had cat and dog people. Still, so far Chris's involvement has given me the biggest confidence this game is coming together.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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To be honest, as much as I like Chris and PE, the Orlans sound pretty much exactly like The Elder Scrolls' Khajiit. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, but to say "I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare" isn't exactly true. The whole "cat people" thing isn't a particularly new concept.

 

I don't think he meant it that way. And no, Orlean's aren't *cat people*. According to Sawyer not every Orlan looks even similiar to feline.

 

Also, from what we heard about Orlean culture, I don't really see the Khajit connection at all.

 

There's probably a misunderstanding somewhere here when he gave that interview. Either on the Interviewers or Chris side.

Edited by C2B
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To be honest, as much as I like Chris and PE, the Orlans sound pretty much exactly like The Elder Scrolls' Khajiit. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, but to say "I don’t think there’s actually an equivalent of them in standard fantasy fare" isn't exactly true. The whole "cat people" thing isn't a particularly new concept.

 

I don't think he meant it that way. And no, Orlean's aren't *cat people*. According to Sawyer not every Orlan looks even similiar to feline.

 

Also, from what we heard about Orlean culture, I don't really see the Khajit connection at all.

 

There's probably a misunderstanding somewhere here when he gave that interview. Either on the Interviewers or Chris side.

That drawing of an Orlan looked more like a leprechaun than a cat-man.
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I haven't video game that does this. Most of them focus on human kingdoms, cultures and conflicts first and foremost. Other races are only presented in how they relate to humans. Either in how they coexist, like those were raised in human societies or live within human walls. Or in how they provide conflict, like those that attack human settlements (like the reptilian cult of NWN1, the kobolds of NWN: SotU, the drow of NWN: HotU, the githyanki of NWN2, the darkspawn of DA:O, etc).

Well, true. It's just, the humans tend to just be humans. They might get the spotlight, but I think that's a different matter (that also shouldn't happen -- you're right). But... well, look at Lord of the Rings, the foundation for like 90% of medieval fantasy today, haha. All the most interesting races in that story are the NON-humans. I mean, it's Tolkien... the guy was like a cultural flavor factory, so the humans actually had a lot of detail to them, still. But, basically, it was all "Humans are petty and humany, and they hold keeps, and fight each other. What do the Elves do? they use effing MAGIC! And they know about all kinds of awesome stuff! And they have super-exotic looking architecture and equipment, and lembas bread, and they're all ancient and did all kinds of cool stuff in places that are merely ruins now... stuff that humans don't even know about!"

 

See what I mean? You see humans, and they're just you. It's like everything else in the game is medieval fantasy, but the humans are just one, single group, and they're just the young'uns compared to everyone else, so they don't even really have that much difference or cultural depth amongst them.

 

I think his comment of "I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing -" took a little wind out of that sail.

Ehhh, true... Maybe I'm too much of an optimist? Or, at the very least, too True Neutral. You know, maybe not trying to find a way in which it could be a positive statement, but just a way in which it's maybe not negative? Heh.

 

Again: "I’ve been mostly focused on the human interaction. So, the human cultures that Josh is developing -"

Again, my hope for the meaning is weak, but I still don't think it's entirely impossible that they meant something along the lines of what I'm thinking. Kinda like how, on the wiki pages and such, there was almost no info on some of the classes for a while, while the others had pretty good descriptions going. I don't know that they're hashing out all the races at the same time. So maybe they started on Humans, and he just didn't make that very clear in his words, and instead made it sound like they're just intentionally focusing on Humans more than all other races in their design. *shrug*. Lotta "maybe"s...

Wait to be bummed until my fears are confirmed; got it. =)

Yes! Haha. It's just something I encourage. You can be bummed before then if you really want, I suppose. 8P. Just trying my best to save you some potentially unnecessary bummedness.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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